Anthony Joshua – his career so far
By Cameron Gillon: Anthony Joshua is a British heavyweight prospect for those who don’t know him. He is 25 years old and won Olympic gold in the London 2012 Olympics. Straight after many fans, fighters, promoters and reports all believed he would instantly make the decision to turn professional. However, it took him a year to make his choice as in July 2013. He signed with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom promotions to start his career.
Joshua isn’t known that well so far in the casual eye and that’s understandable. He has had only eight fights at professional level and has won all of them by way of KO or TKO. So how has Anthony Joshua done so far?
For a note, as a amateur Joshua won the senior ABA Championships in 2010 in only his 18th bout.
1st professional fight vs then unbeaten Italian Emanuele Leo
In Joshua’s first ever fight in the pro game, he was put in with another heavyweight prospect unbeaten Emanuele Leo. For a young fighter just coming into the pro game you’d always expect them to fight a journeyman; someone who isn’t coming to win but to make a few quid. This is a guy who hasn’t lost and was 7-0 in his record also. Joshua started off fast and was throwing some heavy combinations with speed and power, coming to the end of the 1st round. The fight was stopped as the referee felt Leo was taking to much punishment far to early on and it was only a matter of time before he was going to get seriously hurt. The fight was stopped 2.47 minutes into the 1st round and a perfect start to his career.
2nd fight vs Paul Butlin, Domestic heavyweight fight
Joshua’s second professional fight was against English Heavyweight Paul Butlin at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on 26 October 2013 in an all British domestic clash. The bout was stopped in the 2nd round when the referee decided Butlin was taking too much punishment and declared Joshua the winner by TKO. Butlin struggled to take Joshua’s shots, he hits fighters with speed as well as power and in this fight Joshua showed much better improvement in foot work and head movement compared to his first.
3rd fight vs Hrvoje Kisciek
Joshua’s third professional fight was on the prizefighter series against Croation Hrvoje Kisciek, Joshua has a sensational fast start throwing hard shots and showing he can box as well as he worked around Kiciek throwing hard jabs and body shots before finishing him in the 3rd round and taking his record to 3-0 with 3 Ko’s
4th Anthony Joshua vs Dorian Darch
On 1 February 2014 on the undercard of Lee Selby against Rendall Munrae card, Joshua scored a 2nd round TKO stoppage victory over Dorian Darch to take his record to 4-0, again Joshua really started to look much more dangerous as each fight progresses. After this fight many demanded that Joshua stepped up in competition and face fighters who would test him.
5th fight vs Hector Avila
Joshua faced Hector Avila on the undercard of Ricky Burns vs Terence Crawford for the WBO lightweight title fight in March of this year. Joshua made short work of Avila. Avila didn’t look like he wanted to be even in the same ring as Joshua. Avila looked confident when the bell went but as soon as Joshua connected with some hard shots and quick combinations and straight jabs. Avila didn’t want anymore and was dropped and didn’t get back up to take Joshua to 5-0
6th fight vs Matt Legg
On the undercard of the Carl Froch vs. George Groves 2 fight at Wembley Stadium, Joshua faced a much more known fighter in the hardcore fans eyes in Matt Legg. Wembley is Britain’s biggest stadium, it holds a near 90,000 thousand capacity, Joshua and Legg opened the show and there was around 20 thousand in attendance to see Joshua dismantle Legg in the 1st round. Legg was the first fighter to really give it a go at giving Joshua problems. Legg was out into Joshua’s corner as soon as the bell went and was showing good movement in the upper body and footwork and made Joshua miss a few times, but when Joshua connected with a hard combination followed by a right hand. Legg went down for the 10 count.
7th fight vs Matt Skelton
Joshua faced Matt Skelton last July. Skelton was definitely a step up for Joshua. Skelton is a journeyman but one of the better skilled fighters in that sort of level. Skelton has been in with the likes of David Price, Michael Sprott, and beat Kevin Mcbride who beat the great Mike Tyson in 2005. Skelton also came up short against world title contender Kubrat Pulev at one point. Against Joshua, Skelton wanted to prove a point that’s this is the big leagues now and he wasn’t going to just roll over. Skelton did a few times bully Joshua back into the ropes. It only made Joshua more dangerous as soon as he got into a rhythm, he started throwing the jab a bit more which created chances for him to throw his fast powerful right and left hands. Joshua stopped Skelton in the 2nd round in an impressive performance.
8th fight vs Konstanin Airich
In Anthony Joshua’s eight professional fight on the 13th of September 2014 against German heavyweight Airich. Joshua took his undefeated record to 8-0 with a 3rd round stoppage victory in the Manchester Arena on a built card full of Matchroom fighters. Joshua had only previously been taken past into the 3rd round once before this and Airich did take Joshua into the 3rd before being stopped at 1.16 into the 3rd. Airich showed to be a warrior with a solid chin as he took some shots from Joshua that no one else did. It was only a matter of time before Airich couldn’t take much more. In the 3rd Joshua did throw a heavy shot that rocked Airich which ultimately led to the stoppage.
Next fight and 9th vs Denis Bakhtov for the WBC interncontinental title
Anthony Joshua will be fighting for his first professional title in his next fight against Denis Bakhtov on October 11th at the O2 Arena in London, UK. For fans who don’t know much about Bakhtov, he is a level above the rest of Joshua’s previous opponents. Bakhtov’s last fight was against Manuel Charr where he was beat by RTD in the 5th. Another notable fighter he has been in with is Alexander Ustinov who was recently scheduled to face Tyson Fury before Fury pulled out. Bakhtov has also fought Konstanin Airich who Joshua recently beat and Bakhtov beat Airich on decision so with Joshua stopping Airich in the 3rd and Bakhtov unable to stop Airich. You would expect Joshua to come out of this with a 4-5 round stoppage.
Prediction – Joshua beats Baktov in the 4th to win the WBC intercontinental title
Where do i see Anthony Joshua in a few years’ time ?
Personally, I see Anthony Joshua in 2015 next year going for the British title by headlining his own show at Watfords outside stadium Vicarage Road facing Michael Sprott, Sam Sexton or the loser of the Tyson Fury vs Derick Chisora fight. From there, I see Joshua defending that title for a few fights before going for the European or Commonwealth title at the end of 2015/early 2016 and getting to around the 20 bout mark before competing in a final eliminator, which will be put together by Hearn to get a world title shot. whether that would be against Wladimir Klitchsko if he is still fighting then or it will be against one of the other prospects like Bermain Stiverne, Alexander Povetkin, Tyson Fury, Bryan Jennings, or Deontay Wilder.
It looks like they’re going down the WBC route with Joshua, which could ultimately land him a shot against the highly rated power puncher Deontay Wilder in a few years if he can take the WBC strap off Stiverne at the end of this year or early next. That’s a big fight in a few years if they can both keep winning.
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